PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- USS Chosin (CG 65) pulled into Lualualei, Hawaii July 1, marking the end to a group sail that has brought ships representing Canada, France, Australia, Japan and the United States from the International Fleet Review in Victoria, British Columbia to the Hawaii Operating Area in preparation for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010.
"The International Group Sail from Victoria, B.C. to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was a great opportunity to work closely with our sister navies of the Pacific Rim. All of the RIMPAC partner nations rely on the maritime domain for prosperity, and the security of that domain is vital to individual national interests," said Capt. James Autrey, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 23. "Over the course of 11 days we learned from each other and operated with unity of effort while preparing for the RIM of the Pacific Exercise 2010."
Since departing Victoria June 14, ships participating in the group sail have coordinated together on exercises and training operations ranging from anti-surface warfare to group maneuvering as a means of establishing bonds and lines of communication.
"Developing relationships with and among the Sailors of the world leads to developing and building relationships with the peoples of the world," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Gala, operations officer aboard Chosin. "Firsthand relationships with the representatives from each of these countries only deepens an understanding of the seagoing and warfighting tradition, and more recently the peacekeeping tradition."
And it is these bonds and lines of communication that will carry over into RIMPAC 2010.
"Working up to a running speed with any other group of motivated and gifted individuals requires at least a little practice and modicum. Sharing something like a centennial celebration with the Canadian navy and then sharing time at sea provides the nesting time required before such a robust event," said Gala.
And it is this sense of cooperation and building towards the future that makes the group sail a success.
"Opportunities to go on a foreign warship at-sea are rare. I had such an opportunity and won't soon forget it," said Ensign Daron Weber, food service officer aboard Chosin. Weber visited the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JS Akebono (DD 108) as part of a personnel exchange conducted between Chosin and Akebono.
"One thing I've experienced in the Navy is that it is small. The same could be said for an international navy. We very well might never cross paths again, but our experience in the personnel transfer will help sailors on both sides in the future," said Weber.
Now in Hawaii, Chosin and her partnering ships switch focus from the group sail to RIMPAC.
RIMPAC is the world's largest multinational maritime exercise, with 14 nations, 32 ships and over 20,000 personnel taking part this year. A biennial exercise, RIMPAC stresses the necessity of operational readiness in the Pacific and the sentiment that building relationships with our global partners ensures maritime freedom for all. This year marks the 22nd in a series of RIMPAC exercises conducted since 1971.
For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c3f/.